At Least 92 Dead as 6.3 Quake Rocks Italy

Houses collapsed as people slept
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2009 9:06 AM CDT

At least 92 people are reported dead and some 1500 injured after a powerful 6.3 earthquake shook a large swath of central Italy at 3:32am local time, reports the Guardian. Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi has declared a state of emergency as the quake toppled churches, houses, and office buildings while people slept, leaving an estimated 50000 homeless.

"The quake was so strong. I was woken from my bed and when I tried to get up I fell over," said one resident. The hardest hit area was L'Aquila, a medieval mountain city 60 miles east of Rome, which has seen at least nine smaller temblors this month. Chunks of destroyed buildings blocked roadways in L'Aguila, hampering rescue workers. "Thousands of buildings" are likely "collapsed or damaged," said a government official.
(More Rome stories.)

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